Generation of Computer


The evolution of computer to the current state is defined in terms of the generations of computer based on the technology used by them (hardware and software), computing characteristics (speed, i.e., number of instructions executed per second), physical appearance, and their applications. 
The evolution of computer technology is often divided into five generations. They are mentioned below:

First Generation Computers (1940-1956)

• The first generation computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry and magnetic drums for memory. 

• They were often enormous and taking up entire room. 

• First generation computers relied on machine language. 

• They were very expensive to operate and in addition to using a great deal of electricity, generated a lot of heat, which was often the cause of malfunctions.

 • The UNIVAC, ENIAC, IBM 650, IBM 701, etc. computers are examples of first-generation computing devices.

  •  They use machine language as programming language
  • Punched cards and paper tape used as input/output devices.
  • There were about 100 different vacuum tube computers produced between 1942 and1963.

Second Generation Computers (1956-1963) 

• Transistors replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the second generation of computers. 

• Second-generation computers moved from cryptic binary machine language to symbolic. 

• High-level programming languages were also being developed at this time, such as early versions of COBOL and FORTRAN.

 • These were also the first computers that stored their instructions in their memory. Second Generation.

  • Magnetic core and magnetic tape / disk used as memory.

  • They use assembly language as programing language.
  • They also used  punched cards and magnetic tape Input/output devices 
  • Examples  IBM 1401, IBM 7090 and 7094, UNIVAC 1107, etc.

Third Generation Computers (1964-1971) 

• The development of the integrated circuit was the hallmark of the third generation of computers. 

• Transistors were miniaturized and placed on silicon chips, called semiconductors. 

• Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with third generation computers through keyboards and monitors and interfaced with an operating system.

 • Large magnetic core, magnetic tape / disk is used as memory.

  •  High level language (FORTRAN, BASIC, Pascal, COBOL, C, etc.) as Programming language
  •  Magnetic tape, keyboard, monitor, printer, etc are used as Input / output devices
  • IBM 360, IBM 370, PDP-11, UNIVAC 1108, etc. are the examples of fourth generation computer.

Fourth Generation Computers (1971-present) 

• The microprocessor brought the fourth generation of computers, as thousands of integrated circuits were built onto a single silicon chip. 

• The Intel 4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the computer. 

• From the central processing unit and memory to input/output controls—on a single chip. 

• . Fourth generation computers also saw the development of GUIs, the mouse and handheld devices. Fourth Generation Computer.

  • Main electronic component  of this gen. are very large-scale integration (VLSI) and microprocessor.
  • VLSI contains thousands of transistors on a single microchip.
  • Semiconductor memory (such as RAM, ROM, etc.) uses as memory.
    • RAM (random-access memory) – a type of data storage (memory element) used in computers that temporary stores of programs and data (volatile: its contents are lost when the computer is turned off).
    • ROM (read-only memory) – a type of data storage used in computers that permanently stores data and programs (non-volatile: its contents are retained even when the computer is turned off).
  •  High level language (Python, C#, Java, JavaScript, Rust, Kotlin, etc.) is used as Programming language .
  • Input / output devices are  keyboard, pointing devices, optical scanning, monitor, printer, etc.
  • Some examples of this generation computers are IBM PC, STAR 1000, APPLE II, Apple Macintosh, etc.

Fifth Generation Computers (present and beyond)

• Fifth generation computing devices, based on artificial intelligence.

 • Are still in development, though there are some applications, such as voice recognition.

 • The use of parallel processing and superconductors is helping to make artificial intelligence a reality. • The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that respond to natural language input and are capable of learning and self-organization.

  • Main electronic component is based on artificial intelligence, uses the Ultra Large-Scale Integration (ULSI) technology and parallel processing method.
  • ULSI – millions of transistors on a single microchip
  • Parallel processing method – use two or more microprocessors to run tasks simultaneously.
  • It can understand natural language (human language).
  • Input / output devices are keyboard, monitor, mouse, trackpad (or touchpad), touchscreen, pen, speech input (recognise voice / speech), light scanner, printer, etc.
  • For Example  desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Basic Terms:

 – an electronic device that controls the flow of electrons in a vacuum. It used as a switch, amplifier, or display screen in many older model radios, televisions, computers, etc.

 – an electronic component that can be used as an amplifier or as a switch. It is used to control the flow of electricity in radios, televisions, computers, etc.

  – a small electronic circuit printed on a chip (usually made of silicon) that contains many its own circuit elements (e.g. transistors, diodes, resistors, etc.).

 – an electronic component held on an integrated circuit that contains a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) and other associated circuits.

  – a cylinder coated with magnetic material, on which data and programs can be stored.

 – uses arrays of small rings of magnetized material called cores to store information.


1) Vaccum Tube: John Ambrose Fleming
2)Transistor: William Shockley, Walter Houser Brattain and John Bardeen
3)    IC: Robert Noyce
4)    Microprocessor: Federico Faggin, Marcian (Ted) Hoff, Stanley Mazor, and Masatoshi Shima
5)     Bio Chip: Stephen Quake  

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post